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From gold bits to fitbits: payments through history

Technology is constantly offering new ways for consumers to pay for goods and services - but the rapid pace of change isn’t a recent phenomenon.

From gold and the earliest bank notes to the mobile payments we know today, the banking industry has seen many payment innovations over the last 100 years.

With ANZ announcing the option to use the exercise bracelet Fitbit pay for purchases, we take a look back through the ways we’ve paid throughout the years. 

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Nineteenth Century portable gold scale used in the Victorian Goldfields

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A 1905 Australian bank note printed by the Union Bank of Australia (ANZ predecessor). Private Banks issued bank notes in Australia until 1910.

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Specimen bank note printed by (ANZ predecessor) The London Chartered Bank of Australia in the late 18th Century.

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Australia's first decimal banknote was issued in 1966. It features Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II and representations of Aboriginal art based on the work of David Malangi and others. It was replaced by a $A1 coin in 1984.

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Australia’s latest $A5 note. The world’s first polymer note was issued in Australia in 1988 to mark the bicentenary of European settlement in Australia.

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Australian War Savings Certificate or Bond. During the Second World War, ANZ helped administer government schemes such as Food and Clothing Ration Coupons and war bonds.

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Circa 1950s advertisement for an ANZ Cheque Account.

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Former Wimbledon Champion Pat Cash collects his ANZ Australian Open prize money in 1983. Although cheques are largely consigned to history – the large novelty cheque is still a feature of sports and charity events – and it’s legal.

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ANZ introduced its first credit card in 1974. This advert from an ANZ branch advertises this payment innovation.

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ANZ launched Australia’s FIRST chip credit card system in 2001. ANZ launched the GoMoney mobile banking app in 2010. It reached $A100 billion in transactions in 2014.

James Wilson is a bluenotes contributor

The views and opinions expressed in this communication are those of the author and may not necessarily state or reflect those of ANZ.

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